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Sportsmanship Rating System

Ottawa Rec Sports uses a sportsmanship rating system (sometimes colloquially called ‘beer points’) to track the behaviour of each team and how well they get along with other teams in their division.

If you are playing in a a sport with physical contact (such as soccer) you will be asked to give your opponents a sportsmanship rating out of 5 at the end of each game.

In a normal match, give most opponents a 5/5 , even if there are a few fouls and a few moments of frustration. Even if a team has one player who is being too rough but the team overall is friendly, give a 5/5.

A 4/5 means you felt there were too many fouls, opponents generally had a culture of playing too hard, fouling too much, or never apologizing or showing remorse. While there were no major altercations, your team left the game generally frustrated and banged-up.

A 3/5 should be used when you find the opponents actively hostile, fouling frequently, yelling at refs, insulting opponents, and generally playing in a reckless or unfriendly way. A 3/5 says your team overall did not enjoy the match and found the opponents team culture actively unfriendly.

Anything below a 3/5 should be reserved for games where a player receives a card and either does something intentionally reckless/dangerous out of anger, threatens players or refs, or tries to instigate a fight. In these cases you should use your discretion on giving a 0, 1, or 2. I would probably give a 2 if a player behaved in a completely unacceptable way but most of the players teammates were clean and tried to apologize for the player, and a 0 if the team culture encouraged their roughest worst behaviour.


Sportsmanship Rewards Program

Part of Ottawa Rec Sports’ core philosophy is to build communities that have a competitive structure but remain sportsmanship-focused. The sportsmanship rewards program is one of the key tools we use to incentive clean play.

Within all leagues with physical play (like soccer), captains are required to rate their opponents sportsmanship out of five at the end of each game. This information is tracked privately – no team is ever told what rating them were given by previous opponents.

When giving ratings, we recommend 5/5 as a baseline for normal matches with minimal disputes. We advise teams not to punish their opponents when one player is a poor sport, assuming the rest of the team is pushing that player to play safely. Teams should be marked down if they have multiple players that are consistently late on their tackles, do not apologize for fouls, or behave in a dangerous, threatening, or insulting manner.

At the end of the season each team is given a report card with their final average out of 5. They then receive $10 in rewards for every 5/5 received and $5 for every 4/5.

As with trophy rewards, prizes are typically distributed as gift-cards to whichever venue we are at for the end-of-season party, but they can also be claimed as a discount on future registration fees anytime within one year of winning them.

In addition to paying teams back for building a sportsmanship-first culture, this program also gives us a foundation of data to track teams sportsmanship, allowing us to give teams direct feedback on how they’re doing, and to decline the business of teams that are unwilling to commit to meeting basic sportsmanship requirements.

Low contact sports (like volleyball) do not use the sportsmanship rewards program, but instead of additional prize support distributed evenly to all teams.